With the constant development of the internet, and the increasing popularity of communication between networks, we currently reside in the most transforming technological event since the capture of fire. A global pandemic may have posed a threat to this, however, online communities have never been so active. The music industry has managed to coexist alongside covid-19 and formed the most unlikely postmodern relationship. Moreover, it is true to say that the media have historically coevolved with the public that uses them, as well as with the larger economy of inscription.
The triangular relationship between artists, talent representatives, and production professionals is at the heart of the making of cultural products and careers. The desire for agents to keep their artistic talents relevant, whilst maintaining the artists relationship with the fans, in the midst of covid-19 could have been career threatening. However, due to the advances in technology and the public sphere, the ability to communicate with each other has maintained the same level, if not preceded it.
With online communities increasingly becoming accepted into the lives of internet users, which serve to gratify the need to interact and communicate with others, whilst being able to discuss particular subjects using instant messaging tools, modern convergence may have played directly into the hands of agents attempting to keep their talents busy.
Social media, in an unprecedented time can be seen to have saved the careers of emerging young talents, whilst sustaining the relationship between artists and fans. Instagram live has currently replaced live concerts, and gratifies the need to communicate with one another. Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay performed a 30 minute live concert from his home for fans, in which they could comment and interact with each other, whilst simultaneously offering the hashtag #TogetherAtHome, to offer cross platform communication.
Moreover, you would have thought a pandemic would be the worst possible time to release an album, yet young British talent Dua Lipa released her new album ‘Future Nostalgia’ whilst at the same time participating and commenting with fans on each song as it streamed live on YouTube. This postmodern style of releasing music in times of such uncertainty furthers the concept that online services have changed from offering channels for networked communication to becoming interactive, two-way vehicles for networked sociality.
Meanwhile, the biggest success story and proof that the public sphere during the course of the pandemic can be used for great success, is Epic Games’ Fortnite featuring Travis Scott. On April 23rd, over 12 million gamers watched Travis Scott perform a 10 minute virtual concert, in Epic Games’ biggest event ever. The success of the livestream saw the release of Scott’s new song “THE SCOTTS” premiering as part of the Fortnite set, and debuted at No.1 on the Hot 100 chart. Showing how both humanity and online public spheres adapt and work together to maintain success.